Sunday musings: Cruise ship innovations, Mona Lisa up close, Missed connection compensation

Regent Seven Seas Cruises Voyager. Copyright © 2018 NSL Photography. All Rights Reserved.This weekend we take a look at new cruise ship innovations that will change how we buy cruising travel. We explore a new way to see the world-famous Mona Lisa. Finally, take a look at European Union airline consumer protections that we can only dream about here in the USA.

9 cruise ship innovations that help travel advisors sell more cruises

Larger ships, smaller ships, new amenities, different destinations and culinary experiences are all making cruise travel better and easier to sell. Get ready for new offers and new experiences when cruising.

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Do you remember “The Love Boat,” that iconic, long-running network TV show from the 1970s and ’80s? That popular show played a major role in bringing the concept of cruising to the consciousness of the masses. As people watched Captain Stubing, cruise director Julie McCoy, purser Burl “Gopher,” and the rest of the lovable cast interact with its celebrity guests, week after week, cruising made its way onto the bucket lists of many Americans.

We’ve come a long way since then. Today’s cruise ships have evolved and innovated in ways that surprise and delight travelers. Here are nine of the biggest changes, all of which can help in-the-know travel advisors sell more cruises. READ MORE

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The Louvre’s first VR experience lets visitors get close to the ‘Mona Lisa’

Have you ever really wanted to get a closer look at the Mona Lisa as it is hung in the Louvre Museum? Now is your chance to peer into the painting in a way never before possible, through a new reality.

Drawing on new research into the painting, “Beyond the Glass” will reveal details of the artwork that can’t be seen with the naked eye, delve into the techniques that da Vinci used to create the “Mona Lisa,” and explore the identity of the woman in the artwork — a subject of long-standing debate. The high-tech project seems a fitting way to honor the legacy of Leonardo, a polymathic thinker and inventor who conceptualized technologies — the bicycle, the airplane, the helicopter—centuries before they emerged in full force. He was, as the Louvre notes, “an artist who … continued to innovate throughout his rich career.”

The real “Mona Lisa” — arguably the gem of the Louvre’s collection — will be on display at the exhibition, as will four other da Vinci masterworks held by the museum: “The Virgin of the Rocks,” “La Belle Ferronnière,” “Saint John the Baptist,” and “Saint Anne.” Additionally, the Louvre is assembling as many known da Vinci paintings “as possible” for the upcoming show. A large selection of Leonardo’s drawings, along with sculptures and paintings by other artists that will lend context to his work, will also be on view.

4 International Air Travel Rights DownloadAirlines must compensate for missed connections in Europe

In Europe, consumer protections are getting stronger while here at home, there are virtually none. Many US citizens are incredulous when they learn that late flights in Europe mean real compensation. Now, missed connections do as well.

The new law sets compensation of up to $700 for connection flights if in the same booking (including when the connection flight is with a different carrier). The change is a welcome one for consumers, who are increasingly using connection flights to reach many destinations around the world.

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Payment is determined according to the flight distance, starting at $290 per flight and reaching as high as $700, when the passenger lands three hours later than the time listed in the original flight schedule.